Culture is one of the four pillars of the DevOps CAMS model. Culture in a DevOps context is about breaking down barriers not only between development and operations, but also between all kinds of teams and between teams of the same type. The goal is a safe environment that encourages innovation and creativity. An environment that encourages smart failure and that understands what motivates skilled information workers: Autonomy, mastery and purpose. The motto should be: Think it, build it, run it, or just: You build it, you run it.

The Accelerate book uses sociologist Ron Westrum’s typology of organizational culture in their surveys, and found that in 2016:

  • 31% of us work in an organization with a pathological culture:
    • Power-oriented
    • Large amounts of fear and threat.
    • People hard, withold and distort information for political resons.
  • 48% of us work in an organization with a bureacratic culture:
    • Rule-oriented
    • Protect your department and make your own rules.
    • Do things by the book (your book). This is more important than achieving the mission.
  • 21% of us work in an organization with a generative culture:
    • Performance-oriented
    • A focus on the mission: How do we reach our goal?
    • Good information flow, better collaboration, high level of trust, less hierarchy.

For DevOps, we should strive for a generative culture.

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